Oh, My, Goodness! Dallas Outlasts Washington 27-24 (OT)

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Thank you, football Jesus

The rivalry dragged the Cowboys and Redskins into the mud, and got them good and dirty.

An erratic see-saw game saw Dallas take a 10-0 lead, fall behind 17-10, storm back to take a 24-17 lead, then saw Washington tie the game on a Rex Grossman to Jabar Gaffney face in the final seconds of regulation.

In overtime, the Cowboys defense buckled, then benefited from Redskins kicker Graham Gano’s second miss of the day.  His 52 yard attempt failed to hook and sailed wide of the right upright.  Dallas took the great position and converted two first downs.   The first, to Martellus Bennett, shoved Dallas into Washington territory.  The second, an improvised Tony Romo spin and sling to Dez Bryant moved the Cowboys inside the Redskins 25.  Two DeMarco Murray runs set up Dan Bailey, who converted his 24th consecutive attempt — just barely.  The kick from the left hash kept drifting right but it stayed on the right side of the right upright, sending the Cowboys home happy.

The game was a more wide open edition of the September matchup.  Dallas sustained its initial drive on the ground, alternating carries for DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones.  Once the Cowboys crossed mid-field, the Redskins pushed a ninth man into the box, and made runs very difficult.  The passing attack spent a half trying to find its way.  Dallas did conclude its second drive on a Romo to Dez Bryant combo pattern inside the right end zone pylon, but this came benefit of a short field, after a Fred Davis fumble at his own 28.

The offense struggled the rest of the half, Romo missing an open Laurent Robinson down the right sideline.  In the meantime, the punt return team took two costly penalties.  The second wiped out a return to the Dallas 31 and pulled the offense back to its own 5.   A three and out and a poor Matt McBriar punt set up Washington just outside the Cowboys 31 and they rolled in for a touchdown.  

On Dallas next punt, the coverage unit let down, allowing a long return to just outside the red zone.  Washington scored on a 16 yard pass to Donte Stallworth, with Stallworth shaking free from double coverage for the score.

Washington marched off a long drive to start the 3rd quarter, and nailed a field goal, pushing the lead to 17-10.

The Cowboys offense finally got untracked.  It used a missed Gano field goal as the springboard for a 14-play, 61 yard drive.  Murray converted a key 4th-and-1 running outside Tyron Smith for seven.  Romo then connected for the first time with Jason Witten for 15 yards.   Romo converted another 3rd down with a 7 yard pass to Murray on 3rd and 6, and three plays later, Romo spun left and found Laurent Robinson running a shallow cross inside the goal line.  Bailey’s conversion tied the game.

Dallas then seized the lead on the next drive.  Starting at his 12, Romo converted one first down with a 12 yard throw to Kevin Ogletree.  He saw a sideline pass tipped into the hands of Martellus Bennett on the following play, moving Dallas out to its 39.   Three plays later, Romo again did a spinerama left, to escape inside pressure, and found Witten mirroring his route deep downfield.  Witten caught the ball in stride, got an ole block from Dez Bryant and outraced DeAngelo Hall into the end zone.

Dallas got an interception from Orlando Scandrick on Washington’s first play after the kickoff, but could not sustain a drive and punted with 5:35 to go.  The defense could not make a big play and let Grossman run a slow-death 89 yard drive.  Alan Ball was the big target on the drive.  Stallworth caught a fade over Ball in the back left corner with 14 seconds to tie the score.

Dallas then lost the overtime kickoff, and survived Gano’s miss.

Bigger reports later.

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Rafael Vela

Rafael Vela

Started covering Dallas Cowboys @ TheBoys.com in '95 and '96. Two more stops along the way and here I am. Senior Analyst for SportsTalkLine.com
  • Scottwilliams12

    Good summary Raf (as always). Was following your comments on Twitter (they help to keep me sane). I don’t know how you stay so calm.

    Ugly game by the D. Looking forward to some of your breakdowns to see if individuals were getting beat, or if teams have found the weaknesses in Ryans schemes (and the weakness in personnel).

    But a win is a win. Thank god for Bailey.

    • Rafael Vela

      poor games by Ball and Sensabaugh.  So-so game by Newman.  They really missed Jenkins today, and well, they could use an upgrade at SS.

      What else is new?

      • Miguel

        What really surprised me was that De Angelo wasn´t able to match Witten´s speed. Is De Angelo too slow or Witten so fast?  LOL

        • GalTex

          He matched it and then some; he was just more interested in trying to punch the ball out.

      • Lanceb17

        Rumor has it that there is a tremendous amount of money bet in Las Vegas on the Eagles winning over 10 regular season games.   Anone know of a way to check on that?   hmmmmm

        • Lanceb17

          its obvious they won’t be able to do it now but i’m just curious what the amount is

  • Egtuna

    A win is a win. Seemed Kyle Shanahan’s plan was similar to the Eagles in terms of the Skins’s passing attack. The 15-20’yard crosses were toomeasy for Grossman and co.

    In the first half it seemed the skins stymied the Boys’s passing game with fake blitzes.

    That being said, Dallas won because Romo made several clutch plays and Bailey’s reliable foot.

    And finally, how big of a goat would Bennett have been had he let DeLo steal the ball in OT?

    • Este

      Bennett played his best game as a cowboy IMO. Not only did he not turn the ball over he made them pay for trying to strip the ball and gained another 6 or 7 yards.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IUNVOF2H3MCJSZYQJODFFFEJXM peter m

    Miami is not looking so easy a win.  Either Buffalo really sucks, or Miami’s got game.  I’m leaning towards the Fins having some game

  • Ridgelake

    What an ugly game.  It felt like we lost even though we won.  Romo never seemed to be comfortable, actually looking skidish on many occasions.  And Murray/Felix never seemed to have many openings.  We sure missed Fiammetta today.

    Bottom line is that we got lucky.  Flat out lucky.  We played a poor game in all 3 phases.  Only some lucky screwups by their kicker and a couple turnovers allowed us to “win”. 

    Oh, and I think we made it out with no major injuries.  Thats always a plus.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IUNVOF2H3MCJSZYQJODFFFEJXM peter m

      not having Flammetta was huge it seems

  • Montecito Tex

    Terribly sad that this rivalry hasn’t translated to the YouTube generation , but this means everything to Tex. “the only good Redskin is a dead Redskin.” – early American settler

    • BVandy

      Outside of the racism, I have to agree with you, Tex.  I remember listening to the 1988 season (before multi-billion dollar television contracts), from my bedroom in Thousand Oaks, Ca. in that fatefull 1988 season when the Cowboys won only a single game: however, the defeat was against the hated Washington Redskins.  Somehow, that allowed the 1-15 season to not be a complete loss.

  • Raja

    How poetic is it that DeAngelo Hall was victimized by Romo in game winning throws in both games?

    I agree with another poster here that Miami is not a automatic win after this game. I would be concerned with our emotional state after such a game – would not be surprised to see us come out flat.

    In another note, lets hope we are able to upgrade C/G position in the off season – Costa was in Romo’s lap all afternoon.

  • AustonianAggie

    of the few good tackles made on Special Teams, I noticed Bruce Carter made most of them

    • joey2zs

      I like how he shed that block and planted the punt returner.  I hope to see more of him soon.

  • Este

    Redskins played like a desperate team today. They’re D stepped up and didn’t let Murray break any big runs. This is the kind of games these Cowboys have lost all to often in the past. This is progress.

  • BVandy

    Couple of things to note: Man, was Tony Fiametta missed, or what?  Second, how about having a kicker who makes clutch kicks?  Third, we really need Mike Jenkins back.  As I saw it on NFL Redzone, which wasn’t much, Alan Ball only made 1 play: it was a big one, but still…

    • Lanceb17

      Nobody stops the end zone pass to stallworth, it was perfect perfect …sometimes its just meant to be.

  • BVandy

    It is hard to appreciate it at the moment, but Dan Bailey (K) is having one of the greatest seasons in Dallas Cowboys kicking history.  The only kicker to finish the season ahead of where Dan Bailey is presently is Chris Boinol (his coach) in 1995, who made 27 of 28 field goals.  Dan Bailey is presently at 23 of 24 field goals.  Considering where the Cowboys have been, it is a blessing to not have to worry about field goals right now.

    • joey2zs

      All right, cooler, let’s not talk about the pitcher going x number of scoreless innings.

    • oskieoskie

      What a relief to have a solid, reliable kicker when the games get really tense.

      Kudos to our OSU Cowboy rookie kicker, Steely Dan Bailey!

  • Basso

    Tony Fiammetta MVP (with an assist from Senor Romo).

  • M0rton

    Now if only the Giants can lose to the pathetic Eagles today, then Dallas will have the upper hand in the divisional race at the end of the day.

    • BVandy

      Yeah, but how does it feel to root for the Eagles?

      • M0rton

        I’m rooting for a game full of injuries and a close Giants loss.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IUNVOF2H3MCJSZYQJODFFFEJXM peter m

        I hate it when I have to root for the enemy.  Oh wait, there both the enemy, yikes.  Well if I have to root for the Wiggles, so be it

      • StillHateTheGiants

        It made me want to take a shower

  • fivetwos

    I don’t care if this team wins or loses by 90 points…

    …Phil Costa is awful. He is NOT an NFL center.

    I feel like Tex, but wins need to stop hiding this dude.

    What a mess. I promise it bites us sooner than later.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IUNVOF2H3MCJSZYQJODFFFEJXM peter m

      I really think your right, but what to do this year

    • joey2zs

      It’s biting now.  How many sacks were Costa’s responsibility?  He gets pushed back like he’s on roller skates.

    • Dante

      Costa will be fine. His technique is good and his athleticism is good. His problem is he is not strong enough. Perhaps if they gave him a full off-season with mike willock he will be better. He looks like he is doing his best, but as I said it is a strength problem, just like it was with Nagy. That can be corrected. His work ethic is good according to dallascowboys.com so its all about the strength. Lets give him thew the end of his contract next year and see what happens. He dominated the last couple of weeks, so it seems like it is just strength. Please don’t be mad at me, its just my opinion.

    • AA

      Costa is the o-line version of Olshansky. He gets put on roller-skates or thrown to the ground whenever the nose tackle wants to. It’s getting flat out embarrassing.

    • Zeb

      I think Costa is like Rob Pettiti.  The more he plays, the more he is exposed.  I seem to recall RP starting 15 or 16 games as a rookie and getting sent down the road the next training camp.

      • AustonianAggie

        he was forced in to starting due to another’s injuries. No one believed Pettiti was an answer. He was rushed in and burned once Flozel got injured.

        • Zeb

          yes, but the more he played the more he was exposed.  Cutting him the next year suggests he was worse than a guy you find on the street.  We may think the same of Costa by the end of the season, especially if he wears down.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IUNVOF2H3MCJSZYQJODFFFEJXM peter m

    With all the comments about not having Flammetta, why do we not carry two fullbacks, we have three tight ends.  Heck we still have two kickers, go figure.  I hope he’s back on thursday

    • mahuebel

      We have 1 Kicker. Beuhler is on IR i believe

    • BVandy

      Peter,
      I think the Cowboys have been trying to find 1 fullback for about 15 years now.  Now that they have found one, finding a backup is no easy task.  I am guessing John Phillips is the H-back for now.

  • Delaware Cowboys Fan

    I was at this game with my DeMarcus Ware jersey, and got heckled the whole game.  Almost got in a fight when someone tried to mess with my girlfriend so it made it just that much sweeter of a win.  My seats were right under the right upright that oh no Gano missed.  It was great because all the skins fans went nuts bc they thought he had made it and I went crazy yelling WIDE RIGHT… haha I haven’t been to a tighter skins/dallas game it was intense but we definitely showed who the better team was.  HAIL TO THE COWBOYS, HELL WITH THE SKINS

    HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!!

    • Johnfarries55

      I live in the U.K. but attended a game in Washington in 2004,resplendent in Cowboys top and Kilt! I was attacked inside the stadium by 3 smackheads,but I threw one of them on thr ground and stood on his throat daring his mates to hit me. They ran away and the one on the ground was squealing like a pig. A few Cowboys fans came across to help but the guy on the ground was pleading to be let go! I let him go and he was off like Usain Bolt.
      No Security anywhere.
      Icing on the cake was that we won!

      • http://www.cowboysnation.com Rafael Vela

        You have any photos of your getup John?  I’ll post it  the next time the Redskins come up.  Shoot, I’ll post it now.  We can all gloat in your boldness. 

        • Johnfarries55

          Sorry but I do not. The only picture is still in my mind. My wife was in the Ladies at the time. She did not want me to wear the kilt as she thought it would attract the wrong kind of attention.
          She was right!